Wet again!!

I must be bringing good luck to the African farmer – the rain just seems to follow me everywhere.  Had a couple lovely days, not too hot to be really uncomfortable, but lovely and sunny.  It was so welcome.

Well, I said on one of my pictures that I cna’t stand jacaranda trees.  The colour makes me just cross-eyed.  I don’t know what it is about the colour since I usually like purples and mauves, but this particular shade is just stomach turning for me and it tends to line the streets at this time of year.

One more thing I’ve discovered that I really want to stay away from for the rest of my life is thatched roofs.  They look so neat, and are so sustainable – and are just packed full of every crawly, squirmy thing you can think of!!  I never want to have to put my head under one again!  Ugh!  But where I’m staying right now is all thatched roofs, so I don’t have any choice.

Went on a tour of local crafts people and artists yesterday, and it was quite interesting.  My favourite was visiting the drum maker who made the drum for the Global Sustainability conference that was held in Joburg a couple years ago.  He is working on one now that he hopes will be chosen by one of the groups involved in the 2010 World Soccer Cup that will be held here.

I can’t believe how good the roads are overall in SA.  They make Canadian roads and highways look pathetic. There was one really bad stretch of highway up where I was near the lodge, so I kind of thought that maybe many SA roads had been kind of neglected – that stretch was *really* bad.  But since I’ve been driving around, most everywhere the roads seem to be kept up wonderfully well.

Time seems to be running faster as I get towards the end of my stay here.  I’m feeling pretty sad about having to go with so much more left to see, but I also miss everyone at home a lot so will be glad to see them again.

And when I get home I’ll be able to put up the video I’ve taken – some wonderful elephant footage and so on.  Hope I can find a program where I can edit it easily – or at least easily enough that I can learn to do it myself, as to say I’m not the world’s best photographer is putting it mildly.  Once I forgot to turn it off, and have several minutes of really artisitic footage of my foot as we bounce down the road in the 4W drive.  Good grief . . .

Must run now, but will try and drop a note again before I leave.

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2 Comments »

  1. Eli Jakeman said

    So are SA roads better or worse then Canadian roads?
    See you soon Maw

  2. MT said

    Hi, grannym!

    Guess you are on the final countdown, trying to cram in as much as you can before that looooooong flight home. Maybe you will sleep all 12 000 kms or whatever it is. My ankles are swelling just thinking about it.

    Too bad about your jacarandaphobia. I always thought them very pretty trees, and much more exotic than any of ours. But I know they are in the bad books of every good SA horticulturalist as they are attempting to wipe out invader species throughout the country. Think they came originally from S. America

    *** Yep they did. ***

    and liked the conditions so much they got out of control. Ditto the lantana. I love that, but my SA cousin shrieks in horror, “Noxious weed!” every time I admire one.

    *** They have acres and acres of some stuff I’m sure is loosestrife too, but they call it Patterson’s Revenge or something**
    *** My favourite tree here so far is the Bottle Brush, which is the name for that tree I didn’t know when I posted the pictures.
    It’s the one with the bright red fuzzy ‘tails’***

    As for the thatchaphobia …. you’ll soon be home under a strong roof – one with no creepy-crawlies (except the occasional raccoon – saw your previous entries on your blog before you left home in the summer). When the cold wind sweeps across the lake from Buffalo in November – THEN you will be missing the thatch and the nu-nus it contains!

    *** Are you implying that my opinions might be swayed by the weather??? ***

    Re roads there – they never go through the freeze-thaw cycle, so the asphalt remains reasonably good for many years. The dirt roads are another story as you know – either dusty washboards or quagmires. These destroy the suspension in no time. The car bodies hold up quite well for many years as salt is not needed in the winter, but if you live near the coast, the paint job is pitted very quickly with the salt spray. The real problems concerning the roads are the number of unlicensed drivers and/or overloading of poorly maintained vehicles as no doubt you have observed.

    Hope you have enjoyed your stay in Polokwane. Will watch your blog to see if you manage one last entry before your flight. If this is the last (for THIS trip to SA), I want to say it was great hearing about your adventures and sharing travel experiences with you, grannym!
    *** Well, this may be my last entry from here, but will be posting lots of pics and video when I get home, so hope you can stick around for some of that. Regardless, it was wonderful having you aboard and sharing views about the place. I still have a lot of things to think over before I get too opinionated, but can say that on the whole it’s been a great experience despite the challenges. You have to expect challenges when you travel even if it’s with a tour group, never mind when you book everything sight unseen over the ‘net
    Fale gahle as they say up here . . .
    ~granny m ***
    Have a safe trip home and a wonderful reunion with your family and friends! Sala gahle! MT

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